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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Lumen_de_Lumine

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i would have taken exploration ideas. you have no competitors for colonization and you can pretty much colonize eastern russia, asian isles, and australia before europeans get there.


BUT you get over-extension for colonizing on your own continent and the Americas are over 1400 range away. Therefore colonizing Ming is very much doomed.
 

knul

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Great, i want to play as ming with their interesting faction system and celestial empire, just hoping there is a strategy guide for me since i am new to eu series, having only played ck2 before.

Subscribed.

I have to say, so far I feel Ming is easier in EU4 than in EU3 or at least much more straightforward. As long as you know the Inward Perfection penalties and how the factions can fix them, you'll probably fine.


The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the expanding needs of the bureaucracy.

Anyways, the way you're developing the internal strength of Ming China makes EU4 ever more tempting.

Good point :)

EU4 is indeed a massive improvement regarding peaceful features.


Seems you got your affairs in order, time to go out and subjugate All Under Heaven, starting with those Mongols, Manchus, Tibetans and whatnot...

Hmmmmm....;)


TIP: Move your capital to Nanjing and grab trade ideas (switch to eunuch, ofc) just direct trade from beijing and canton and disband your entire navy for lightships and you would be rolling in so much money its obscene. (u are sitting on 2 of the best nodes in the game, afterall)

Moving the capital costs 200 ADM, which I sorely need. I'm already swimming in money. In the longer term, the capital will indeed move, as it will make much more trade money when moved south.


i would have taken exploration ideas. you have no competitors for colonization and you can pretty much colonize eastern russia, asian isles, and australia before europeans get there.

BUT you get over-extension for colonizing on your own continent and the Americas are over 1400 range away. Therefore colonizing Ming is very much doomed.

is colonizing australia and pacific islands is considered as your own continent for ming?

As this is my first real EU4 campaign, I do not know all the ins and outs yet, and I avoid reading strategy articles as much as possible, as I want to find them out myself.

So this "own continent colonization = over-extension" comes as a surprise to me. Still, I don't know if colonization would be that useful for Ming.
 

knul

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Episode 3: Interesting times?

Jim: Welcome, welcome dear viewers. The Local Time is 1478 and our contestants are doing well. With a new Emperor having nice skills, a lot of money and some fresh techs under the belt, this promises to be a good episode.

Bob: Certainly looks that way, Jim my man. They are currently at the 6th place with 302 points.

Jim: What's more, their Monarch Point gain is quite high: +4 ADM, +7 DIP and +9 MIL.

Bob: With such high MIL income, it's no wonder that they can afford their third Idea.

a1vt.png

1480-01: Engineer corps

Bob: And you know what that means...

Jim: First National Idea!

227z.png

1480-01: Repair the Chinese wall

Bob: Ahh, now I understand.

Jim: What do you mean, Bob?

Bob: Seems that the contestants are looking for synergy. This idea gives a +15% fortress defense and the 5th idea in the Defensive Idea Group gives a +33% fortress defense bonus.

Jim: Aah, so within two Ideas, Ming's fortresses become really tough. Clever.

Bob: A side benefit of Ideas is that they enable certain events. See for example, this:

fs9j.png

1481-05: drill, drill, drill

Jim: The army's morale is now skyrocketing.

Bob: Did you see that? The last Buddhist province has been converted due to the high stability of the last years. Ming is now fully and purely Confucian.

Jim: Still, religious unity is at 75%, because of the Inward Perfection penalty that is only canceled by having the Bureaucrats leading.

Bob: No worries. Ming has so many reductions to revolt risk that an increase of 0.5 is negligible. Besides, it's time for a new tech!

Jim: You're right, well spotted. It's Basic Financial Instruments (5), for the ridiculously low price of 720 DIP points. This will increase Trade Efficiency by 10%.

Bob: Too bad this is the last thing our Naval Reformer did. In his stead a 3-star is hired, increasing DIP income to 9.

na1i.png

1482-09: government is humming along nicely, if only AMD income was higher

Jim: With the money Ming is earning, even a 3-star advisor is affordable. Talking about affordable, a new Idea has been adopted.

Bob: Regimental Mentality! It lowers land maintenance by 10%. At the moment, this means a modest reduction of half a ducat a month, but still.

Jim: But wait! Rebels from the Oirat horde have entered Ming! They need to mobilize!

Bob: It's only four regiments, Jim.

Jim: Oh. I knew that. Luckily, a Jin Era statu has been found, increasing stability to 3 again.

Bob: That won't chase the rebels away. If anything, the tranquility of China only attracts such lowlifes.

Jim: It really scares the military advisor, though, who promptly falls down dead. His replacemant is a 1-star military engineer, lowering MIL income to 7. Bit premature, as the rebels go back into Oirat territory.

Bob: Okay, guess I was wrong.

Jim: All is quiet again. Until the new tech breakthrough, of course!

Bob: Tech progress is quite nice. This time it's Constable & Temples (5), for 780 ADM points.

xb07.png

1486-03: Ming tech is stronk

Jim: Not only tech progress, the Ideas are also coming in at a steady pace. The fifth one already!

Bob: It sure is, Jim. Defensive Mentality is gained, so Mings forts are now 33% stronger. In total, fort strength is at about 50% higher than standard.

Jim: Good, good, Ming's enemies won't be happy about that.

Bob: What might make them happy is that the ADM advisor has just died.

Jim: But our contestants have immediately hired another 2-star advisor, keeping ADM income at an admittedly low 4 points per month.

Bob: Still, enough ADM is left to institue Formalized scales and weights, increasing tax income by 5%.

Jim: Bit odd, AMD is in short supply while money is not. Oh well, I hope our contestants know what they are doing.

Bob: Well, money might become tighter, as the corrupt treasurer has increased inflation by 2%.

qxjz.png

1490-02: shame there is no competent replacement...

Jim: Ah, but you underestimate Chinese culture! Look, they are burning spirit money, which reduces inflation by 1%.

Bob: That doesn't make sense at all.

Jim: Well, it happened, so who are we to judge?

Bob: What does make sense is the sixth Idea that Ming has adopted: Supply Trains. It improves reinforcement speed by 33%.

Jim: So far there has been, what, 20 soldiers reinforced during the whole game?

Bob: Well, that might change in the future, wouldn't it? Beside, adopting the sixth Idea also activates Ming's second National Idea: the Revival of the Training Camps. This increases the troops' discipline by 5%.

Jim: Not a big difference.

Bob: Oh Jim, be a bit more optimistic! Every little bit helps in the end. I think that our contestants' army is coming along quite nicely. But not just the Mingian army:

8l6v.png

1491-09: Korea is best Korea

Jim: Wow, Korea is kicking Manchu's behind! An ally defeating a rival, that's just too much.

Bob: A bit strange that Korea never called Ming to arms, but apparantly they do fine on their own.

Jim: Inspired by the Korean example, a 3-star Grand Captain arrives at the Chinese court and our contestants hesitate not a moment to hire him to replace the 1-star military engineer.

pe85.png

1492-11: Government

Bob: Still too bad that ADM is so low.

Jim: But with such high MIL income, it's already time for the 7th Idea! Yes, our contestants have filled their first Idea group! And what do they get, Bob?

Bob: A new car! Eh, sorry, wrong show. I mean, they get the Idea Improved Foraging, which lowers attrition by 50%, preserving precious Chinese manpower.

Jim: Which there is plenty of.

Bob: But wait! There's more! They also get a bonus for completing the Defensive Idea Group: 1% attrition for all enemies on Ming soil.

qj0e.png

1495-04: Plenty of Ideas

Jim: Again, I'm not really impressed.

Bob: Oh, but you should be! This is unavoidable, always applicable attrition. Combine that with Ming's 50% stronger forts, means that our contestants' enemies will bleed themselves dry on the walls of China.

Jim: Well, if you say so. They might need all of this, as the Oirat horde has finally ended its Peasants' War, which has caused a lot of damage to them the last decades. Hopefully they do not turn their attention south.

Bob: Maybe some diplomacy could help? The contestants have developed a new tech, Embassies (6), at a reasonable 780 DIP points.

xb07.png

1495-08: Administrative tech goes as fast as frozen molasses

Jim: Nice, but I predict that without the Bureaucrats' cost reduction for buildings, we won't see the Embassy build anytime soon.

Bob: We'll see.

<Tick, tock, time passes>

Jim: Well, it can't always be about action and stuff, does it Bob?

Bob: Guess you're right. Everything is humming along nicely. Good for the Chinese, not so much for our audience.

Jim: Well, the Chinese are also getting restless. A couple of events have reduced stability to zero. Just one more and the Mandate of Heaven will disappear!

Bob: Well, that would liven things up. Oh wait, the Eunuch's have increased stability again by event. Nevermind.

Jim: <Sighs> Well, I think this is as exiting as it gets for the moment. As we enter the 16th century Local Time, we must say adieu to our audience. Until next time!

e0gq.png

1500-01: Far east
 
Last edited:

DarthJF

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Those defensive ideas seem pretty powerful. But judging from the size of Oirats in the North and Ayutthaya in the South, you might end up needing them.

And that Korea is strong!
 

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I loved your earlier AARs (especially Double Domination). So i am very happy that you have returned with another AAR. Will be following with great joy.
 

Enewald

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China is always very underpowered and badly represented in most PI games, but then again this is called Europa Universalis... sigh

Will follow!
 

knul

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Episode 4:

Jim: It's time for another Single Domination episode, fellow Ming enthusisasts!

Bob: Welcome back!

Jim: So we are in the year 1500 Local Time, with Ming developing quite nicely in tech, Ideas and money. No territorial expansion, though.

Bob: That might be changing, Jim. Army maintenance is maximized and no rebel is in sight.

Jim: Does this mean...

Bob: Yes! Ming has declared their first war! They have DoWed the Oirat horde with the taking of Ulanqab as the goal! But the Oirat horde is allied to Korea as well. Whose side will they pick?

Jim: Korea remains neutral. They are at war with Manchu, perhaps that explains things?

Bob: Then this war will be a cakewalk:

io7e.png

1500-03: not much of a challenge

Jim: Indeed it is. It only takes 20 months to not only take the province but a nice booty of 400 ducats, wihout fighting a single battle. A promising first war, don't you think?

kpir.png

1501-11: peace in our time

Bob: I'm quite certain not all of our contestants' wars will be this easy.

Jim: Coring that province isn't that easy, though: it takes 70 ADM points due to our lovely Inward Perfection.

Bob: That will slow down Administrative tech progression ever more. However, as MIL point production is still high and Ming has run out of Ideas to spend it on, we see a new military tech for the first time in years: Standardized Pikes (5), costing only 720 MIL points due to a 15% neighbor bonus.

Jim: Nice: Ming's infantry has become 25% more deadly. However, Ming is still 2 military techs behind the Oirat horde. If they rebuild their forces, they might be a danger.

Bob: You forget that the Oirat horde has zero Military Ideas and only one other Idea, so no National Ideas. I do not think Ming is that far behind in tech.

5dxk.png

1502-03: Oirat diplomacy. Note the lvl 7 military tech

Jim: Still, it is a bit weird that the horde can field arquebusiers while Ming is elated with having all their pointy sticks at the same length.

Bob: Don't fret, Ming's technology is improving even more: Three Field Rotation (6) for 720 ADM points helps increasing production, while Naval Ambitions (7) for 820 DIP points makes naval morale all the better.

wglc.png

1503-11: Finally we have standard sticks

Jim: Impressive. Even better, finally a 3-star ADM advisor has been found, a Master of the Mint to boot. The 1% inflation will soon be gone.

Bob: Now Monarch point gain is 5/9/9.

Jim: But wait! The army is mobilised once again!

Bob: Indeed. Another war with the Oirat horde! A border conflict and a mission give Ming the opportunity to grasp Ordos and Kham from the horde. As they are no longer allied to Korea and still have only one regiment standing, it seems to be another easy war.

Jim: :)

Bob: Shut up, Jim. Oirat has been beat up slightly by Manchu and rather more heavily by the Timurids. So it's not their fault.

Jim: Still, it's again a battleless, easy war. After only a year, Kham and Ordos plus 650 ducats are liberated from the Oirat horde.

Bob: But our contestants wait with coring their new acquisitions. May be they contemplate switching to the Templars so the cost is cut in half? At least a missionary is send to Kham, who will likely remain there for five years.

Jim: Could be, could be. What is certain is that another technological breakthrough has been achieved. Arquebusiers (6) greatly strengthens the infantry, as well improving the ever-important tactics.

Bob: Strangely, while Ming can now have Offensive or Defensive Asian Foot Soldiers, they cannot recruit arquebusiers.

Jim: Extra-dimensional Universe 4 can be a bit odd at times, I have to agree.

Bob: I get another message, seems they have research yet another technology! Trade Depot and Drydock (8) at a price of 820 DIP, opens up some less than useful buildings, for the moment at least.

54un.png

1511-05: Tech overview

Jim: Ming has a very good diplomatic tech. Military tech lags a bit behind, but with a full group of Military Ideas, that will not be a problem. Even in administrative tech Ming isn't doing too badly, occopying second place of all know nations. Hey, I can't find Manchu...

Bob: That's because Korea has annexed Manchu.

Jim: Wow!

Bob: Less good news is that the Emperor has died and his successor is already 54 years old.

Jim: Ah, but this is a 2/3/4 monarch, giving more ADM points which are sorely needed. His heir has 4/2/3 skills, so ADM points will be much more plentiful in the future.

Bob: At the cost of DIP points, however.

Jim: Indeed, but for now there is less need for those points. Anyway, ADM/DIP/MIL income is now 7/8/9.

Bob: But not for long: the Emperor dies and is succeeded by an Empress without an heir. If she dies, Ming will form a personal union under Korea!

Jim: It's no wonder, then, that the switch to Bureaucrats is made, as they greatly increase the chance for an heir. Painful, as it costs 50 ADM points...

Bob: Not good, tech progress will be stalled. The treasure loses 22 ducats per month as well. Hopefully the Empress can produce an heir soon.

Jim: What do you call soon? Within a single month a new heir is born, although with 3/2/1 stats.

Bob: But wait...

Jim: Gestation time here is not nine months, Bob.

Bob: Ahh, I forgot, Extra-dimensional Universe 4.

xwoz.png

1514-02: three men and a woman

Jim: So the contestants swing back to Eunuchs, for only 10 DIP, luckily. DIP points will be much more rare in the future.

Bob: Here is some good news: for 720 ADM points, Noble Republic (7) is researched, openening a second Idea group. What will they pick?

59ua.png

1514-04: Economic Ideas

Jim: Economic ideas. Interesting.

Bob: An administrative Idea group so soon? Probably they feel confident by the high ADM income to justify this choice.

Jim: And as usual, after one tech comes another in quick successon. Costing 810 DIP, Carracks & Caravels (8) is researched, opening new ship types for the shipyards.

glj.png

1514-06: diplomatic tech is progressing at a fast pace

Bob: Seeing that Ming has little use for a fleet right now, this doesn't really help. But wait, what do I see? Another war...?

Jim: Sorry, Bob, but our time is up and we have to say goodbye to our dear audience. Until next time!

qr7v.png

1514-06: map of the far east
 
Last edited:

knul

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Those defensive ideas seem pretty powerful. But judging from the size of Oirats in the North and Ayutthaya in the South, you might end up needing them.

And that Korea is strong!

I think that defensive will be a good match for Ming, but the other military ideas are also quite powerful! And Korea is indeed rolling.


I loved your earlier AARs (especially Double Domination). So i am very happy that you have returned with another AAR. Will be following with great joy.

Welcome back, then! I hope you will enjoy this one as well.
 

Ashantai

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Great updates! I'm interested that you filled out an entire idea group...guess it's good to do that while you have MIL points to spare.

Are ADM points the most useful and important, you think?
 

Enewald

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I myself would usually pick economy ideas first... those bonuses are just far better than any others...
 

DarthJF

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Yay, first expansion. And boy are you swimming in money!
 

Nikolai

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knul is back! :D
 

knul

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Great updates! I'm interested that you filled out an entire idea group...guess it's good to do that while you have MIL points to spare.

Are ADM points the most useful and important, you think?

Well, if you're into exploration and colonization or want to trade internationally, DIP points are probably the most important. For Ming, they're decidedly not that important...yet.

ADM point are IMO more important in the early game as they unlock Idea groups. With Ideas you get very nice National Ideas. But after you have all your NIs and National Tradition, Ideas become a bit less attractive, so I expect ADM to become a bit less important later on.

I myself would usually pick economy ideas first... those bonuses are just far better than any others...
If you have low ADM monarchs, an ADM idea group as first slows down your next Idea groups. An early MIL Idea group can potentially help you survive, while the economy ideas are more longterm.

Yay, first expansion. And boy are you swimming in money!
Well, you've seen the surplus and I haven't spend money beside building a few regiments.

How is trade looking? :D
A bit less than a quarter of Ming's income comes from trading.


knul is back! :D
:D
 

knul

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Episode 5: the Ayutthaya agony

Jim: Welcome back to the struggles of our contestants, deep in the EU4 timeline guiding Ming to greatness!

Bob: Hello everybody.

Jim: And we jump right into the action! Ming has declared war on the Oirat Horde to conquer Alxa!

Bob: Reminds me of Bavaria...

Jim: Ming does not only have a claim on Alxa, but also has a mission to gain it, which gives 25 ADM points.

Bob: Another easy war. While the Oirat horde now has more than 10 regiments in the field, they retreat to the west, leaving Ming's armies to siege Alxa and the Oirat capital.

Jim: The most exciting thing happening is the death of the 2-star diplomatic advisor, which is replaced by a 3-star, significantly lowering DIP point income.

Bob: In just a year, Alxa is conquered and Oirat is forced to revoke its core to Ulanqab.

Jim: What is less easy is dealing with the aftermath. Our reporters in the field state that to moake Alxa a core province, a hefty 100 ADM points is required.

Bob: That's quite expensive, Jim. Inward Perfection penalty strikes again?

Jim: Indeed. Only with the leadership of the Templars can this cost be halved.

Bob: Another problem is that the religious unity of the nation is disintegrating, as the acquired provinces are all Buddhist.

amh4.png

1516-06: religion

Jim: Again, Templars would be helpful to remedy this. Looks like there will be no conversions otherwise.

Bob: If only big guns could help! Ming has invented Limber (7), which enables the construction of artillery.

Jim: Wait! Breaking news! Ayutthaya has become dishounorable scum!

Bob: No wonder, they have been expanding rapidly, haven taken Pegu as a vassal and has just reduced Dai Viet to a rump state.

jnwc.png

1517-10: Ayutthaya

Jim: Clearly, our contestants cannot tolerate this no longer and declare war! Korea is too embroiled in a war with the Oirat horde to join, as well as not caring enough for an enemy so far away from them.

r04f.png

1517-07: Ayutthaya is not a pushover

Bob: Looks like Ming has its work cut out for it.

Jim: That's probably why the contestants maneuvre the Templars into power!

Bob: The extra 25% discipline will certainly help.

Jim: It already did, Bob. Ming has won its first battle ever! Against something other than rebels, that is.

my57.png

1517-12: first battle won

Bob: And it's not just a fluke! While the Ming armies besiege Ayutthaya provinces, they win the next 5 battles against about 20 regiments.

Jim: About 10 enemy regiments are sieging in the north, while taking constant attrition from Ming's Ideas.

Bob: Oh dear, their first setback! Not only has Ming lost its first battle, it resulted in the destruction of 10 regiments!

Jim: Ouch! No wonder the 3-star military advisor has resigned over this! Again, a lower-level advisor, level 2, must be hired. ADM/DIP/MIL income is now 9/3/6.

Bob: What appalling DIP income!

Jim: That's because Ming has an alliance with Korea and a royal marriage with Shan, while without the Eunuchs, Ming cannot have relations without a penalty. Ming has also two generals, which lower MIL income by one point.

Bob: But these generals do earn their pay. After four years of fighting, they have conquered four enemy provinces and have won over 90% of all the battles.

Jim: Indeed, Bob. As the goal of the war is to show Ming's superiority, this helps increasing their warscore by a whopping 15%.

Bob: Enough to sign a favourable peace. The war has ended!

Jim: And with a warscore of 57%, the peace is very favourable: Ayutthaya has to release the nation of Aceh. This will severely cripple their power.

Bob: But at a cost: Ming's finances have tumbled. Their balance is at least 1500 ducats lower, for the greatest part due to increase military cost and reduced income. A demand of the nobles for 250 ducats didn't help, either.

zl5o.png

1521-04: the fruit of victory

Jim: It's no wonder, then, that the Eunuch return to power at the cost of 30 DIP points.

Bob: Another thing that helps is Ming's first economic idea, Bureaucracy, that increases tax income efficiency by 10%.

Jim: All of this increases income enough that Ming can start funding Ayutthaya rebels on a large scale.

1pis.png

1522-01: rebel yell

Bob: Hopefully this will result in the formation of Lan Xangi.

Jim: In the north, things don't go well.

Bob: What's happened?

Jim: Korea has expanded even more into Oirat territory and has declared Ming as their rival. As a consequence, they have broken their alliance with Ming.

Bob: That's not nice.

Jim: What is nice, Bob, is that it's time for another round of tech improvement. All three fields have been improved upon!

Bob: Impressive!

Jim: So Ming has researched workshop & courthouse (8) for 810 ADM points, the Flute (10) for 810 DIP points and Pike and Shot (8) for 780 MIL points.

Bob: Pike and Shot will increase military tactics to a nice 1.45 and increases cavalry shock multiplier by 0.25 to 1.55, double that of infantry.

Jim: Pike and shot improve cavalry? Man, this is a weird timeline!

26dl.png

1528-10: scythes are high-tech, yo

Bob: I have to agree with you there, Jim. Look at this: Ming has taken their second Economic idea, Organized Construction, which lowers building cost by 20%. As this is Ming's nineth idea, another National Idea is adapted.

Jim: Okay.

Bob: This National Idea is Inward Perfection.

Jim: But that's already the name of Ming's big penalty thingy!

Bob: Right! Weird, isn't it? Anway, it lowers stability costs by 10%.

26dl.png

1529-11: Nine coronas

Jim: I'm not complaining, then. Neither will the new statesman, who increases DIP income to 7.

Bob: What we can complain about is that yet another Military advisor has died, the 3-star advisor's seat is filled by a meagre 1-star one, lowering MIL income to 6.

Jim: You're more likely to die as the Empress' advisor than a frontline soldier, it seems.

Bob: Speak about dying, those 20 mongol rebel regiments entering Ming from Oirat territory don't seem to come for tea.

Jim: They do take quite some effort to defeat. It takes 5000 Ming lives, almost as much it took to defeat Ayutthaya.

Bob: Speaking of Ayutthaya, look at this map.

j5nu.png

1537-10: Far East

Jim: Nice. So Dai Viet and Champa have both gained a province from Ayutthaya through rebellion. Dai Viet's was helped by Ming cash injections. Also, Pattani has formed in the south.

Bob: It looks that Ming's rebellion support has worked out somewhat, as Ayutthaya spent much manpower defeating the Lan Xangi rebellion.

Jim: I think this is a nice moment for a break. See you all later!
 
Last edited:

Rabid

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Did you take those provinces from the Oirats just for some strategic depth near your capital? They seem pretty worthless otherwise.

Good to see a nice friendly punitive war, hopefully Bengal will stick its neck out next :D
 

DarthJF

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Probably time to show those uppity Koreans their place soon enough. And Japan seems almost unified already.